Love is an intangible feeling that makes us vulnerable to danger, pain and suffering. However, love is the foundation of friendship; it brings us together and promotes cooperation. Friendship and cooperation is usually contaminated by betrayal and lies. The people we love can easily manipulate our trust.
We have all experienced different kinds of love in our lives. As we grow up, our parents teach us how to love through words, actions and feelings. It is true when people say love is life, because life without love would be meaningless. Love is seen in various aspects of our lives, we see them in literature, pop music, movies, and religious texts and through life experience.
Love is often described as a beautiful feeling that expresses affection and friendship. In a world full of social problems, if we loved a little more we could solve most of these problems. Constant violence and senseless killings only happen because people have forgotten about love. Love can be expressed in many ways, we have to be aware that love hurts when expressed or not expressed accordingly. When we show love, we are happy and satisfied with life. Love is a pervasive theme in life, and it makes our lives better. Throughout the semester we read various texts that express the theme of love in various ways. Below is an analysis of the theme of love in different texts, movies and in day to day life
Love is a multidimensional concept in that it can be seen in different angles. Love can be seen in any subject involving faith, morality, psychology, opinions among others. Love is expressed in different ways in the following texts; some of these ways are interrelated.
Love can be expressed in various ways, as seen in the texts and movies. Love empowers us to defend the people we care for and the things we believe in. The first text is “The Declaration of Independence” by Thomas Jefferson. In this text, love means taking a tough stand in order to protect the rights of your people. Colonialism was a horrible act that expressed hate and superiority of other people over others (Barnet, 201). From the declaration of independence, Jefferson argued that all men are created equally and they are entitled to rights that should not be violated by government. Some of those rights include right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. When government abuses its power it should be overthrown for the greater good of the citizenry. In life we have to fight for the things we believe in or value. A simple example is the fact that nobody can mess with our family members since we love them and we would do anything just to protect them.
Love can be destructive if it is not contained, or expressed towards the right person. In the book “Christine”, “Natural” and the poem Daemon Lover we see that love can be destructive especially romantic love. We do not choose the people we love, but we should love wisely. Love should be directed towards something/ somebody that has our best interests at heart. In The Natural, Roy Hobbs was destined for greatness, but he was not able to realize his lust for Memo, who was a negative influence in his life. Lemon Iris offered Roy Hobbs true love, and a chance of happiness in life but he did not see it. People are usually hooked to things that end up being their downfall, for instance drug addicts are addicted drugs, such that they fail to recognize how it is destroying their lives. Just like Roy Hobbs in the Natural, most of us fall in love with the most beautiful people not because they have our best interests, and we end up disillusioned about love and life. Love should serve our good interests and it should bring out the best in us, which was not the case for Roy Hobbs (Malamud, 123). Love does not conform to popular culture beliefs, and true love is usually in our best interests.
In the book/ movie Christine, Arnold’s love for Christine is blinding, obsessive and self-destructive. This is the kind of love that we should avoid. Arnold falls in love with a dilapidated 1958 Plymouth Fury. This is weird since he cannot see the state of the car the way his friend sees it. It seems like the obsession is mutual when Arnie tells his friend, “Whoa whoa. You better watch what you say about my car. She’s real sensitive” (King, 56) To Arnold, Christine is a perfect flawless car such that he buys it impulsively. Arnie spends most of his time restoring Christine, and pulls away from his family and friends. Christine is also in love with Arnie, such that it runs over Arnie’s enemies when Arnie is out of town.
Both The Natural and Christine are tragic stories of love gone wrong. Roy is unable to shake off his love for Memo, hence he cannot find happiness. He is so obsessed with Memo such that it is infuriating to watch it. Roy’s obsession with Memo does not allow him to move on, such that his personal growth is stalled. Roy’s obsessions end up ruining him in the end.
The possessive car ended up killing Arnie in Christine. Arnie’s love for Christine is blinding such that he ignores warning signs of the diabolical car. Arnie knew that Christine self repaired itself, he also knew the history of Christine, but because he loved it he ignored it. Christine destroyed his relationship with his family, friend and girlfriend. The things/ people we love can destroy us if we are not careful.
In the modern days, people are infatuated with material things such that they forego real relationships. People have fallen in love with money, success, power and the things they bring. Just like in the movie Christine or The Natural, falling in love with material things or power cannot feel the void in our lives. A life without love lacks meaning, and when we fill the void with love for inanimate objects we make the situation worse. Arnold was a nerd struggling to form meaningful relationships; his love for Christine destroyed the few relationships he had and it gave him a false sense of self (King, 115). The concept of love expressed here, is that love should not destroy the meaningful relationships we have. Love for inanimate objects cannot replace love for our family, friends and loved ones, as inanimate objects cannot love us back.
Another concept of love common in the text is the fact that love makes us confident. When we love somebody, we cannot stand disappointing them. In the movie, World War z, the main character would do anything to protect his family. Everybody is desperately trying to hold on to their loves ones, yet the post-apocalyptic zombies seem to be in control. The Main character is taken to be in charge of the investigation since he is capable; this is a risky situation which he does because he loves his family and human population. Also in Hobbit (book), the main character Bilbo is a shy and timid hobbit, and in the end he becomes a hero because he conquers his fear in order to save hobbits, dwarves and elves throughout his journey. Bilbo confesses that, “I have I have never used a sword in my life” (Tolkien, 8) Bilbo encounters creatures such as Gollum and evil wolves, but he escapes from them. When Bilbo kills the giant spiders, it is evident that “Somehow the killing of this giant spider, all alone by himself in the dark . . . made a great difference to Mr. Baggins. He felt a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach” (Tolkien, 54) Love should inspire people to fight for the things they believe in even when it is hard. In World war z, the main character could have let it go and hid with his family, but because of love he was willing to fight for the greater good (Brooks, 58). Love makes us perform certain acts of kindness that does not necessarily benefit us, but it benefits the whole population. Brave people such as Thomas Jefferson had immense love for their country, and that is why they fought for independence. In the texts above, characters such as Bilbo, Roy Hobbs in The Natural, and Dennis in Christine are willing to take risks in order to defend the people they love.
In Daemon Lover, we see that societal expectations sometimes affect how we love. The Daemon Lover is a story in Chapter 5 from Writing Essays about Literature by Griffith. In the Daemon Lover, Janie who is the main character wakes up to find her fiancé gone. She is meant to be married, but she cannot decide on the dress she wants to wear for her wedding. She is 34, and she cannot wait to be married because society looks down on women over 30 who are not married (Griffith, 78). Society is sometimes can determine how we love. The ways we love sometimes depend on our socio economic background. Popular culture and movies makes us believe that we should love people who are beautiful, thin and have good personality. Janie insisted on getting married not even because she loved him, but according to society her window for being married was quickly closing up on her. This applies in our day to day lives, when we reach a certain age our parents expect us to have found the love of our lives and we should be settling down.
Meaning/ value of love in modern society
In today’s society it seems like love is expressed more in movies than in real life. People seem to have neglected the importance of love in everyday relations. Mistrust is a buffer to love, and it is seen in almost all aspects of our lives. The way we relate with our friends, what we hear in news and many other events usually spread distrust, instead of love.
Love has lost its value in our lives. The current society has been nurtured by violence. In fact most Americans are entertained by violence. Violent films and video games are people’s favorites. Statistics have shown that going to war in Afghanistan can be deemed safer than living in Chicago. This makes us wonder, have people forgotten about the value of love in society? Only in America that a toddler can access gun. Bills are being passed in order to legalize harmful weapons, which are used to kill. People’s values have become so accustomed to violence and hate such that they cannot give a chance to love.
Not only do we see a decline in the level of love in society, but even romantic love is slowly dying. America seems to be experiencing higher divorce rates than before. The society seems to be condoning divorce rather than putting in place measures to prevent them. Most kids are being raised in single families, or in dysfunctional families. The society has developed a different set of values that have changed the way in which people perceive and love each other. Love is no longer accorded the seriousness it deserves, there would be less divorces, less crime and a more peaceful society. Materialism in current society is at its peak, and it is not the simple materialism we see in the movie Christine. People have become so obsessed with attaining the best cars, money, fame and power such that they forget. American society is a man eat man society, people would do anything to attain certain material things. Popular culture values materialism, status, immediate gratification of needs at the expense of moral values and love.
Given the vast number of problems in the society, people need to reexamine the value of love in their lives and uphold it. Maybe we should borrow the positive concepts of love from the movies and use them.
The first value of love is that it helps us lead a more fruitful life with a purpose. A quote on love by Leo F. Buscaglia (1924-1998) says that, “It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of person kind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely”?
When we show love to others, we receive love spontaneously. Love is about giving more than receiving. In the articles above, most characters were willing to do whatever it takes as a way of expressing their love. Bilbo in Hobbit and the main character in world war z seem to be living purposeful lives because they dedicate their lives towards caring for others.
Love brings peace. Love makes us treat each other with kindness and compassion. Love brings people from diverse backgrounds together, and it creates a sense of peace. The modern society is a diverse society, each group has its own values and through love we learn to relate well with different members of the society. Love is the answer to most common problems in the society. Issues such as violence, bullying, robbery, immorality could be solved if we practiced more love than hate.
The value of love in society should not be underestimated as love is the glue to our society. The foundation of a civil society is reason and love. The modern society is made up of different people who have their own agendas, which makes it is easy to be caught up in disagreement and conflicts. Without love and reason people would be easily caught in pursuing their own agendas without caring about consequences on others.
Love is not just a theme in movies and literature, but it is the utmost theme in life/ society. With a firm sense of the value of love, each one of us is capable of showing, attracting and maintaining love. Love is accompanied by an equality- consciousness that fosters self-empowerment, and does not focus only on immediate circle of family and friends. Love is like a rose, the beauty of love cannot be described, but its stems are filled with thorns. The above articles and movie adaptations have shown us that love comes with jealousy, hatred and conflicts, but that should not make us give up on love. According to Shaye Smith, love is a garden that fades away when you let it go. Betrayal, lies and indifference makes love fade away.
Barnet, Sylvan. Critical thinking, reading, and writing: a brief guide to argument. Bedford/St. Martins. 8th Edition. 2008. Print
Brooks, Max. World War Z: an oral history of the zombie war. Crown. 2006, Print
Griffith, Kelley. Writing essays about literature: a guide and style sheet. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 2nd Edition. 1986. Print
King, Stephen. Christine. Viking Press. 1983. Print
Malamud, Bernard. The natural. Harcourt, Brace, 1st Edition. 1952. Print
Tolkien, J. R. R. The hobbit, or, There and back again. Houghton Mifflin. 1966. Print
Christine. John Carpenter. Columbia Pictures, 1983. Film
Hobbit. Peter Jackson. Warner Bros Pictures, 1977. Film
The Natural. Barry Levinson. TriStar Pictures, 1984. Film
World war z. Marc Foster. Paramount Pictures, 2013. Film